SAGE scientists warn Plan B WON’T solve Omicron crisis in hint ‘Christmas lite’ may be needed to stop 1million cases of super-strain and 1,000 daily admissions by New Year
ボリス・ジョンソン activated his Covid contingency plan last night in response to the highly-mutated strain after being warned it could cause a million infections and 1,000 毎日 NHS admissions by New Year if left to spread unchecked.
The Prime Minister is facing fury from several senior backbenchers over the anti-Omicron measures which include widespread working from home, more mask-wearing and vaccine passports.
But Professor Andrew Hayward, a member of No10’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (セージ), has warned that we ‘need much more severe restrictions to turn it around’.
He said that while Plan B would ‘slow the spread’ of the super-strain, they are ‘not going to turn around’ the looming wave of cases and hospitalisations.
サジド・ジャビド, the Health Secretary, claimed that the Plan B measures were ‘proportionate’ but admitted they will be kept under constant review.
There are fears that Britons could be stung by last-minute Christmas curbs again after millions were deprived from seeing their loved ones last year when the Alpha variant took off.
SAGE modeller Dr Mike Tildesley hinted at a watered down Christmas this year, claiming that it was ‘very important’ to allow families to be together this year — but in a ‘safe way’.
Mr Johnson has already hinted that Covid jabs could eventually be compulsory, telling last night’s Downing Street conference that a ‘national conversation’ on the matter is likely to be needed in the future. And while vaccine passports have only been imposed on large scale events at the moment, Mr Johnson suggested they could be rolled out more widely in society.
The Government is already being lobbied by independent scientists to go harder, with Independent SAGE, a ‘zero Covid’ group of experts, telling ministers to ‘bring in more measures right now… then we may be able to avoid a lockdown’.
Yesterday Professor Neil Ferguson, one of SAGE’s top modellers, warned that a full-blown lockdown might be needed to protect the NHS from Omicron.
科学者たちは、それが非常に急速に広がっているため、NHSに依然として深刻な脅威をもたらすと警告しています, a member of No10’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (セージ), has warned that even the new raft of measures are ‘not going to turn it around’. SAGE modeller Dr Mike Tildesley hinted at a watered down Christmas this year, claiming that it was ‘very important’ to allow families to be together this year — but in a ‘safe way’
In minutes from SAGE’s emergency meeting on Wednesday, the group said it expected Omicron to become the dominant strain ‘in a few weeks’ and trigger a wave of hospitalisations that could rival previous peaks.
The scientists warned that there will be 1,000 admissions per day by the end of this month in England alone and ‘still increasing at that point’, with ‘several times’ that number expected at the highest point.
Not a single one of the UK’s 568 confirmed Omicron cases has been hospitalised with the virus but it takes several weeks to fall seriously unwell.
What are the new Covid rules in England?
Boris Johnson announced this evening that the Government is implementing its Covid Plan B.
イギリスの従業員の大多数は、ボリス・ジョンソンの「Living With Covid」の一環として、無料の綿棒を入手できなくなりました。:
The return of work from home guidance. People will be told to work from home in England from Monday if they are able to.
Face masks will be made compulsory in most public indoor venues including in cinemas and theatres from this Friday. They will not be required in pubs, restaurants and gyms.
The NHS Covid pass will be compulsory to gain access to nightclubs and other large venues where large crowds gather.
This will apply to all unseated indoor venues with more than 500 人, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 人.
Two vaccine doses will be treated as fully-vaccinated but this will be kept under review because of the booster programme.
A negative lateral flow test will also be sufficient.
This requirement will be rolled out in one week’s time to give businesses time to prepare.
Contacts of Omicron cases will be told to take daily coronavirus tests instead of having to self-isolate. They will have to quarantine if they test positive.
SAGE warned: ‘The overall scale of any wave of hospitalisations without interventions is highly uncertain, but the peak could reach several times this level.’
The group said Omicron appears to make vaccines and prior infection ‘significantly’ weaker at stopping transmission, based on South Africa’s trajectory and preliminary data within the UK.
While scientists won’t know its true evasive abilities for several weeks, SAGE warned that even a small reduction in efficacy could trigger high waves of admissions.
SAGE’s Professor Hayward, an epidemiologist at University College London, told Sky News today that the ‘virus is moving very fast so it’s important that we react to that fast’.
He said a doubling time of every two to three days was ‘very fast’ and ‘you’ll get a very large peak’.
‘And it’s a bit like if you think of a month’s worth of rain falling in a few days, that leads to flooding and it’s a similar type of scenario… we can reduce that by reducing social mixing and allow time to slow the virus down and get vaccine into more people’s arms.’
He said Plan B measures will ‘slow the spread’ but ‘it’s not going to turn it around’, 追加する: ‘I think you would need much more severe restrictions to turn it around, but I think what the encouraging thing is that we’ve started to see, through some of the laboratory data, is sort of that third dose of vaccine is really providing much better immunity, whereas just with the two doses, it’s not really so good.
‘So this idea of slowing it down… more social distancing, not going to work if you don’t have to, not going on public transport to go to work when you don’t have to, will make a difference.
‘I think it’s very difficult to predict whether that’s going to be enough but I think it’s an essential first move.’
SAGE accepted that there is some evidence Omicron is weaker than Delta, with ICU rates about 60 per cent lower in South African now compared to at the same point in the Delta wave, and ventilator rates down 70 パーセント.
But Professor Andrew Hayward added that even if the severity of Omicron compared to Delta ‘was reduced to a moderate or to even quite a large extent, if you’ve got many-fold more cases at one time than you would have done, that’s when you’re going to get this flood of cases in the NHS and the NHS doesn’t have a huge amount of capacity.
'例えば, if we compare ourselves to Germany, we’ve got less than half the amount of hospital beds so we haven’t got that much to play with.’
しかし、彼は、オミクロンよりもさらに穏やかな変異体が年間を通じて出現すると予測しました, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (Spi-M) within SAGE, could not be pinned down on whether Christmas parties should go ahead.
MI5のケン・マッカラム長官は、英国におけるテロの脅威は依然として「現実的で永続的なもの」であると述べました。: ‘It’s a really difficult one because I do think we do need to be responsible, もちろん.
This slide was shown at a gloomy Downing Street press conference last night. It indicates the number of PCR tests where one of the three genes it tests for does not show up, an early sign of an Omicron infection. These are doubling every two to three days at present
Britain is currently recording around 50,000 cases a day and Professor Whitty warns the country could face a Delta wave on top of the Omicron variant
現在あります 757 daily hospital admissions across the UK and 680 イギリスの (England shown above). SAGE members had previously suggested that 1,200 daily admissions would be the trigger point for more restrictions with Delta
‘We do need to be aware of the fact that this variant has not gone away, and so we have to take that into account. But of course we do need to think about people’s mental health and wellbeing as well.
Boris Johnson raises spectre of mandatory jabs
Boris Johnson last night hinted coronavirus jabs could eventually be made compulsory or Covid passes could be rolled out in wider society if a ‘substantial proportion of the population’ remains unvaccinated.
The Prime Minister announced the Government is now triggering its Plan B to reimpose work from home guidance, make masks compulsory in more indoor settings and require people to show a Covid pass to go to nightclubs.
The measures are being rolled out across England in a bid to slow the spread of the new Omicron variant of the disease.
But Mr Johnson said a ‘national conversation’ is likely to be needed in the future on how the nation will live with the virus.
He said he does not believe the Government can ‘keep going indefinitely with non-pharmaceutical interventions’ in a hint that jabs could be made compulsory or restrictions could be targeted at the unvaccinated.
New measures could include greater outreach attempts in communities where uptake is low, or an extension of Covid passes to more venues.
Hosting a Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson was asked by a member of the public if the Government could follow the lead of some European nations by making vaccinations compulsory.
When asked a question about introducing compulsory jabs at last night’s Downing Street Press conference, ジョンソン氏は言った: ‘I think we are going to need to have a national conversation about the way forward and the other things that we can do to protect those who… haven’t got vaccinated for one reason or another.
‘We had a really, really tough year last year around Christmas, and I think it’s actually very important that we allow people to be together but to be together in a safe way.’
The Government has claimed Christmas parties should go ahead but many businesses have already pre-empted official advice and cancelled.
Dr Zubaida Haque, a member of Independent SAGE, accused ministers of mixed messaging after telling people to work from home but encouraging festive work nights out.
The move to Plan B was described as ‘too little, 遅すぎる’ by Professor Tim Spector, the lead scientist on the ZOE symptom tracking study.
彼は言った: ‘I’m pleased the government has finally taken some action and implemented Plan B. We called for this back in September, but as usual, it’s too little too late, and many will suffer hardships this Christmas as a result.
‘Unless we see major behavioural change as a result, I expect that COVID rates will climb higher than ever in 2022. ZOE has now introduced a new feature into the app that allows people to share their Omicron experiences and symptoms, so we will be analysing the data in the coming weeks.’
その間, the Health Secretary said the shift to the coronavirus Plan B is an attempt to ‘buy time’ to avoid the threat of a million Omicron infections by the end of the year.
The Health Secretary defended the sudden shift in the Government’s approach to tackling the virus in England, with an extension of mask-wearing from Friday, a return to working from home on Monday and mandatory Covid passports for large venues from Wednesday.
Mr Javid acknowledged the decisions will have a ‘real impact on our liberties’ but insisted that taking action now is the only way to avoid having to impose tougher measures later.
He faced a barrage of Tory criticism when he announced the measures in the Commons at the same time as Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Wednesday.
Conservative anger has been fuelled by suspicions the new measures were introduced as an attempt to distract from the Prime Minister’s troubles over an alleged staff party in Downing Street during last December’s lockdown.
Mr Javid insisted the measures are necessary to ‘build our collective defences’ through the vaccination programme in the face of the rapidly-spreading Omicron.
With a doubling rate of two-and-a-half to three days, Mr Javid told Sky News: ‘It would mean, at that rate, by the end of this month we could hit about one million infections in the community throughout the UK.
‘We’ve always been clear that should the data change and should it move in the wrong direction and it looked like the NHS might come under unsustainable pressure – remember what that would mean, we wouldn’t be able to get the emergency care not just for Covid but for a car accident, or anything like that – we would act and implement Plan B.
‘I don’t enjoy doing that, no-one does – it is a very difficult thing for many people, asking them to work from home or wearing face masks and things, it is a real impact on our liberties.
‘But I hope that people will understand that by taking decisive action now, we can potentially avoid action later.’
Pfizer study finds two jabs ‘WON’T stop you getting infected with Omicron’ but should still slash risk of serious illness
Two doses of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine won’t prevent Omicron infections but boosters should stop ‘disease of any severity’ caused by the super-mutant, data suggested today.
The drug giant also insisted two jabs ‘may still offer protection against severe disease’ caused by Omicron, which has sown chaos since being identified in South Africa last month. Independent scientists believe the same will be the case for other vaccines, such as AstraZeneca’s.
But Pfizer warned antibody levels among the fully-vaccinated plunge 25-fold against the more transmissible strain, with the company saying two doses ‘may not be sufficient to protect against infection’.
Preliminary laboratory tests showed a third Pfizer vaccine triggers a ‘more robust’ antibody response to Omicron, similar to two doses against previous strains of Covid — suggesting the boosters will thwart the mutant strain. It also boosts T cell levels, offering the immune system an extra boost to protect against severe disease.
Company officials today revealed millions of doses of a new version of its vaccine tailored to the mutant strain — which has already been developed — won’t be ready until March if the current crop of jabs fail in the real world.
It comes as two separate studies released today show that vaccines appear to work better than expected against Omicron, which is quickly spreading in Britain and has made No10 resort to its ‘Plan B’ to save the NHS from being overwhelmed this winter.
A South African research institute found people fully-vaccinated with Pfizer make up to 40-times fewer antibodies against Omicron compared to other variants. But the lead author of the research, the first of four laboratory-based studies released in the last 24 時間, insisted the results are ‘better than expected’.
Another study by Swedish virologists also found there is a drop in the body’s ability to neutralise Omicron after jabs. But the Karolinska Institute researchers insisted the decline was not seen in everyone, with one of the paper authors saying the fall was ‘lower than feared’.
その間, a World Health Organization official insisted the vaccines should still work against Omicron, admitting that the strain appears to be milder than its rivals, such as Beta and Delta.
The new regulations will be put to a debate and vote in the Commons next week and with Labour’s support they are certain to be approved, despite the prospect of a large Conservative revolt.
Unease about the measures on the Tory benches will have been amplified by a series of hostile front pages on usually supportive newspapers – The Sun mocked up the Prime Minister as The Grinch, the Daily Mail contrasted the announcement of Plan B with the Downing Street Christmas party, saying ‘One rule for them, new rules for the rest of us’.
デイリーテレグラフ, which former aide Dominic Cummings claims Mr Johnson still regards as his ‘real boss’, carried the headline ‘Don’t go to work, but do go to parties’ – a reference to the Prime Minister’s suggestion that festive bashes should still go ahead this year despite the call to stay away from offices.
In a sign of the anger on the Tory benches, MP Marcus Fysh described plans to bring in Covid health certificates as ‘really draconian’ and an ‘utter disgrace’.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that vaccine passports are ‘a massive imposition on our liberties’.
彼が追加した: ‘It’s a disgrace that they’re pursuing that, utter disgrace.’
He accused Government scientific advisers and England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty of having a ‘history of over-egging the data and picking data points out that suit their narrative’.
The Plan B measures will be reviewed on January 5, before their expiry date of January 26.
元大臣スティーブベイカー, a prominent figure in the Covid Recovery Group of Conservatives, said it is ‘vital’ the ‘maximum number of Conservative MPs vote against Plan B’.
その間, critics claimed the fallout from the events in Downing Street in 2020 have undermined the Government’s message.
Mr Johnson’s former spokeswoman Allegra Stratton quit after footage emerged of her joking about a Christmas party at a mock press conference days after the alleged event, while Cabinet Secretary Simon Case has launched an investigation into what happened on December 18, 2020 [object Window].
There have also been a series of further allegations about parties involving senior Tories and officials during the lockdown.
Former minister David Davis questioned ‘how are you going to prosecute people who don’t obey it given the four previous parties?’
He told ITV’s Peston: ‘I think the real issue is on the authority of the Government to enforce a, オコナーの長引くフルフロンタルを含むが、彼の素敵なパフォーマンスは、チャールズ皇太子を彷彿とさせることを除いては言及しません。の目, new lockdown because people look at this and say why should we? It’s them and us again.’
Data on Wednesday showed there were 568 cases of Omicron confirmed in the UK, but the true figure is estimated to be ‘probably closer to 10,000’, Javid氏は言った.
科学者たちは、それが非常に急速に広がっているため、NHSに依然として深刻な脅威をもたらすと警告しています, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies from University College London, told Sky News the ‘virus is moving very fast so it’s important that we react to that fast’.
彼が追加した: ‘It’s a bit like if you think of a month’s worth of rain falling in a few days, that leads to flooding and it’s a similar type of scenario… we can reduce that by reducing social mixing and allow time to slow the virus down and get vaccine into more people’s arms.’